One constant in TFCLand of days gone by, through times both good and bad, was that our club were always in contention to “win the offseason.”
The expectation for outlandish transfer rumours, huge names, and the eventual outlay of significant monetary resources is ingrained in our collective DNA.
That’s one of myriad reasons that this offseason, arguably the most important in club history, has been so strange. Whilst the rest of the league moves and shakes, we’re watching the tumbleweeds blow by to the cacophony of crickets. We’re seeing the big swings that we hoped would occur here happen just about everywhere else, while time marches on and the first day of pre-season steadfastly approaches.
While we are quick to deride the club for making “no move,” this is patently false. The club did participate in the SuperDraft, and in Tyrese Spicer brought in a player who could be a day-one contributor. Of course, the SuperDraft is not a slamdunk and there are too many variables at play, but a move is a move.
The same holds true for Honduran international defensive midfielder Deybi Flores, just signed by TFC to a two-year contract with an option for 2026. To the eye test, this is a depth signing, at best. But it is a signing. That is inarguable.
Now, the latest rumour making the rounds is that TFC are interested in Nantes right-back Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel, as reported by leading French outlet L’Equipe.
Pierre-Gabriel, 25, has only been at the Ligue 1 club for a short spell, with 12 appearances in all comps, amounting to a total of just under 600 minutes. He’s logged zero goals or assists in that time.
A product of the Saint-Étienne academy, he’s more than a bit of a journeyman, prior stints include a few single-season stops at Saint-Étienne and Monaco before moving to Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga, where he barely registered. Instead, he was loaned out on a season-by-season basis to other clubs in France and Spain.
It’s worth noting that TFC isn’t the only club reportedly seeking the services of the five-foot-10 defender, per L’Equipe:
What’s interesting to me is those other clubs in the mix are not tier-one sides. TFC is looking deeper, beyond the high-gloss (and high-cost) shiny things.
Here’s a question: is this actually a good thing? Beyond that, is this TFC’s choice/plan, or just the reality this club faces in the free market off the back of three woeful seasons and the unmitigated disaster that was our most recent campaign?
Sure, we here in TFCLand have been spoiled over the years. Deep pockets can do that to a fanbase. But even allowing for that dichotomy, there is simply no denying that this offseason has hit different, and these targets, both official and rumoured, are decidedly “meh.”
We just have to hold on hope that GM Jason Hernandez and his staff have a plan; that these moves are shrewd ones and not wrought out of desperation and fading relevance.
Because there is no neater bow to tie on this offseason and no narrative I’d rather write into existence than “we tried the big-money stuff, and it failed, so we did the complete opposite to much success.” Here’s hoping.